Free Download: The Oh Hellos- Through the Deep, Dark Valley

I am a sucker for energetic folk music, and The Oh Hellos are my new favorite band in the genre. They mix a great deal of Bodies Of Water, Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire, along with some serious melodies and musicianship. Seriously, play that first track and try not to smile a little. Its just so gosh dern happy!

listen below and enjoy!

An Interview About Twist Again By Bodies Of Water


The (ONE)21 Music: Talk about the writing process for Twist Again
Bodies Of Water: The time it took to write the songs varied, some took months of intermittent work, and others were written as they were recorded. We were working on other things while recording, and so from beginning to end, it was about a year and a half of part time work to record everything.

ONE21: Twist Again seems to be Bodies Of Water once again evolving their sound; when you are putting together an album, is it a intentional to write differently or natural?
BOW: This was the first time that (almost) all of the songs were recorded before they were played out in public, so we had a different set of expectations for what the right and wrong ways for them to feel were. Maybe because of that, this group of songs was more concise than those on previous records. If any section or part was feeling too long or redundant, we got rid of it. I know this seems callous, but it is unavoidable. Think of it as a haircut, not an amputation…

ONE21:Twist Again seems alot more carefree in its execution, do you think Bodies Of Water is in a happier place than they were in previous records?
BOW: I don’t really feel like that about it. To me the writing and recording of this one was a little more organized. We spent more time with Noah and Laura (who played drums and bass on this record) working out the arrangements, and group jamming didn’t figure into the songs the way it used to.

ONE21: Is there a lyrical theme to Twist Again?
BOW: I’m sure there is, but I couldn’t say what it might be. A few years ago I tried to write a group of songs that would tell the story of the beginning of the world, but everything diverged once I got going. Some of these songs ended up on the ‘Certain Feeling’ record but most of them were stillborn. That was my only attempt to intentionally tie a bunch of songs together, and it was a huge bust. What a waste of time.

ONE21: What is your opinion of Twist Again as a finished product?
BOW: What a curious question. Nobody has ever asked me that before. Here are several thoughts: My favorite song (for now) is ‘Open Rhythms.’ Also, I like the cover of the record, which is a photo of our friends’ hands. This was taken at a new year’s eve party a few years ago. Also, we received a report telling us that ‘One Hand Loves the Other’ was the song that was played the most on radio stations after the record came out, which was an interesting surprise.

You can listen to Twist Again below:
Twist Again by Bodies of Water

New Releases For June 21st, 2011

Aaron Keyes-Dwell
Dwell
Aaron Keyes

Kingsway Music
Progressive
Buy now: Amazon

Above the Abyss-Yeah…. That Just Happened
Yeah…. That Just Happened
Above the Abyss

Red Chord Records
Metal

august burns red-leveler
Leveler
August Burns Red

Solid State Records
Metal
Buy now: Ama

Bodies Of Water-Twist Again
Twist Again
Bodies Of Water

Secretly Canadian
Indie
Buy now: Amazon

The Crimson Armada-Conviction
Conviction
The Crimson Armada

Razor & Tie
Metal
Buy now:Amazon

divide the sea fear anger strife ep
Fear. Anger. Strife. EP
Divide The Sea

Blood & Ink Records
Southern Metalcore
Buy now: Amazon MP3

The Katinas-Collage
Collage
The Katinas

Destiny Music
Contemporary

men as trees walking-lions roar ep
Lion’s Roar EP
Men As Trees Walking

Come&Live!
Reggae Worship

Shonlock-Never Odd Or Even
NEVERODDOREVEN
Shonlock

Arrow Records
Pop
Buy now: Amazon

Sintax the Terrific and  DJ Kurfu - Prince With A Thousand Enemies
Prince With A Thousand Enemies
Sintax the Terrific & DJ Kurfu

ILLECT Recordings
Hip-Hop
Buy now:Amazon MP3

These Hearts-Forever Ended Yesterday
Forever Ended Yesterday
These Hearts

Victory Records
Pop Rock
Buy now: Amazon MP3

The One21 Essential 100 Pt. 4

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The One21 Essential 100 is a collection of albums that represent the best in creativity, innovation, and originality in music. This is not a “best of” list, nor is it influenced by album sales, or even popularity. Our attempt with this series is to highlight the gems, those rare albums that push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking; both musical and philosophically. In our opinion, the music highlighted in this series is the “good stuff”.

Simply what this is going to be is a list of 100 albums from Christian music artists that we think you should own. Like our website, most genres will be represented, and some of the albums will be from as far back as the 60s, to as current as 2009. Each week we will post five albums, in no real order, with descriptions, album artwork, and places to buy the music.

Check out Pt.1
Check out Pt.2
Check out Pt.3

Bodies Of Water-Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink
Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink
Bodies Of Water

2008
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Four way harmonies, horns, bizarre and often baffling lyrics, and hard, driving tempos. No, this is not Jackson 5 the early years, this is the indie “shaped note” band Bodies Of Water, and after a little grassroots viral marketing, their first real full length, Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink, introduced a new vocal style to the ever so hip indie rock scene. But that is just the first time you listen to the album, because past the initial reactions and a seeming gimmick of a vocal style, you discover an incredibly deep, intelligently crafted album that could contend with the likes of Arcade Fire and Bright Eyes. Steeped in heavy metaphor and written to celebrate a very old harmonic sound, Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink is sure to surprise you over and over and over and over….
Highlights: Our Friends Appear Like the Dawn, These Are the Eyes, We Will Be Apart

Apt.Core Rhythms Of Remembrance
Rhythms of Remembrance
Apt.core

2001
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
According to Will Hunt, the creator and producer of Apt.Core, “The confluence of rhythm and memory” refers to the idea that beats and melodies help us remember words and ideas. The result is a pulsating mix of electronica, ambient tones, world beat, singing, and the spoken word. Nine out of the ten tracks are simply the juxtaposition of rhythms and ambient sounds with Scripture. Rhythms of Remembrance is a changeup from a lot of worship stuff out there. Maybe it’s not really worship, and that’s ok. Its lyrics come straight out of scripture and it makes for a very energetic mix.
We love the blending of primal and technological sounds, overlaid with important texts of our Christian Faith. “Creed” sets the Apostles’ Creed to an afro-celt backbeat and Apt.core reworks U2’s “40″ into a trippy chill workout. You will experience the same feeling of “wow, this is like nothing else out there” when you listen to Rhythms Of Remembrance, even ten years later.
Hightlights: 40, Creed, Life Inverted

Fred Hammond-Pages Of Life Chapters 1 and  2
Pages Of Life: Chapters 1 & 2
Fred Hammond

1998
Highlight: Amazon, iTunes
“It’s time to kick some Devil butt. I’m sorry I did not come here to make you feel good, I came to lift up the name of the Lord!” And so Chapter 2 begins with Fred Hammond’s signature growl kicking some Devil butt. Pages Of Life is a double CD release with the first (Chapter 1) a collection of original studio urban worship songs. But it is Chapter 2 when the Holy Spirit flies in a joyful stomp fest that defines the entire urban worship genre.

The live songs of Chapter Two are funk throw downs that rival James Brown, Sly Stone and Prince. Fred Hammond’s thunderous roar drives a huge choir and a hot band. We defy you to listen to these songs without dancing and singing and worshipping and praying. Every song on Chapter Two is an extended jam of praise, testimony and prayer.
Highlights: No Weapon, We’re Blessed/Shout Unto God , Dwell

fire theft
Fire Theft
Fire Theft

2003
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Not merely a re-packaged Sunny Day Real Estate album, The Fire Theft is takes the SDRE legacy far beyond the early band’s reach and cooks a stew of Sunny Day Real Estate, The Who, Led Zeppelin and the psychedelic Beatles into a soaring journey of sound and poetry. Jeremy Enigk takes control of the band of three-quarters of Sunny Day Real Estate and explores his struggles with his growing faith and life as a rock icon.

Haunting, beautiful sounds capes lay the foundation for Enigk’s distinctive wrenching vocals. The opening track, “Uncle Mountain” rivals the virtuosity of The Who at their best. “Summertime” stuns you with its beauty. “Heaven”, well is just a show stopper with quiet piano that explodes into screaming pleading pleas of “heaven are you really waiting outside the door?”
Highlights: Heaven, Summertime, Uncle Mountain

Grant Green-Fellin’ The Spirit
Feelin’ The Spirit
Grant Green

1962
Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
The guitarist Grant Green, one of the most important soul-jazz bandleaders of the 1960s, never lost the zealousness or the sense of unshakable optimism that underpins spirituals and other religious music. During a prolific period of recording in 1962, Green convinced Blue Note to let him do this album of spirituals. The result is a collection of extended Jazz takes on six classic spiritual classics such as “Go Down Moses”, “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” and “Nobody Knows The Trouble I Have Seen”.

Grant Green’s extended guitar solos on these song are swirling, lyrical symphonic interpretations that add color and depth to these instrumentals. But what really makes the album swing is Grant Green‘s backup cast, which picks up energetically wherever Green leaves off. In particular, Green‘s pianist for the album, a young Herbie Hancock, stands out on nearly all the tracks, and at times nearly steals the show. Grant Green’s synergy with his band, and the obvious inspiration that all the players drew from the spirituals that make up the musical core of this record make Feelin’ The Spirit well worth owning and listening to repeatedly.
Highlights: Go Down Moses , Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Deep River

Voices of The Underground2 Finale

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Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?
Read Pt.11-What are your opinions on the modern music industry?
Read Pt.12-Is it easier or harder to be a musician today in contrast to maybe 10 years ago?
Read Pt.13-What is the one thing that people don’t understand about YOUR music?
Read Pt.14-What responsibility (if any) does an artist/performer have to it’s listener?

For the fan reading this right now or listening to your music and wanting to start a band/career of their own, what is some advice you could give them that you didn’t know starting out?

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I’m going to address the girls: (Keep in mind that these are lessons I’ve learned the hard way….I wish I could have been wiser when I was young!)
Discipline yourself to write songs and learn your instruments and train your voice. I’ll gently suggest that you try to include your family as much as possible. You need accountability. Be modest in your heart and in your dress. Give your music to God now, before pride becomes an issue. (That was one of my big ones- I thought I was so awesome. Man, I was dumb.) Pray for open doors, but don’t just sit and wait for something good to fall in your lap. Again, discipline yourself in your art so you’ll be ready if you get the chance to share your music with the world!

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I would say for starters that there is more to life than being in a band. Not to be a downer, because I love doing this so, so much, but I think a lot of young bands have the tendency to elevate the idea of being in a band, an how “cool” that is, above a lot of things like friendships and relationships and maybe the other things God has called us to do. I’m not discouraging anyone from starting a band, but if you’re starting a band and your bass player really wants to go to college or get married or whatever, he’s not a jerk and you should still talk to him and be his friend. I’ve seen a lot of friends in bands, as well as myself, thinking being in a band is then end-all-be-all to my entire life, but there is so much more to God’s creation and kingdom than playing rock and roll.

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My advice is to not read reviews. Whether they are good or bad, finding out what a stranger thinks of what you’re making is always a negative experience. Even if it is on a sub-conscious level, you end up seeking approval instead of being open.

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Be less concerned with what is cool or trendy and more aware of creating music that you feel is genuine and well written.

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Focus on God and build relationships with others. The great commandment. Be honest, transparent and wear your heart on your sleeve. Through this, you can be the change you want to see in the world. Don’t worry about “industry, business, units, friends or Myspace plays.” Just do what God is calling you to do and focus on him.

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Don’t start your band and start touring right away. Take your time building your local fan base, then gradually tour out regionally, then eventually and slowly work your way out to different areas of the country. Don’t expect to make money right away, unless your a cover band for some strange reason. And be smart with your money you do have, as much as it sucks, money can really make or break your band. Try to save on whatever you can, recording costs, duplication, merch, etc. I don’t know. This is all business stuff. But that’s what I wish we knew when we started.

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If you like writing, and playing music, don’t forget that you like writing and playing music.

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Be humble, don’t have expectations other than to be a vessel of the Lord. Work to perfect your art. If you aren’t completely happy with a song don’t make us listen to it. Throw it away and write a new one. God demands our best and He deserves it. Be willing to play to a room of 2 people. You are not above it. And most of all, SMILE IN YOUR BAND PHOTOS!

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Follow the path that God is opening up for you. Be FAITHFUL in the opportunities you are given… Make sure you are following God’s path, not someone else’s path that you are trying to emulate. You don’t wanna become an imitator of some other band. Just be in prayer, seek after God – and walk through the doors that he opens for you. And continue to be faithful once he gives you the opportunity.

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It’s not as easy as it seems. If it’s not about the music, it’s not gonna work.

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The best advice is to not get ahead of yourself. A lot of musicians want to start a band, and hit the road the next day. I think it is important to build up a local fan base, to spend time writing quality music, and make sure you are going to do decent on the road. I know we hit the road for a brief summer tour 2 years ago, and we were not ready for the road at all. We had no idea what we were doing yet, and our music was not up to par for a touring band at the time. We also ended up getting $6,000 worth of gear stolen out of our trailer.

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Practice! Always keep your priorities straight. If you’re a Christian band keep God first. Whatever your band has to say believe in it and practice it.

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If any of you desire to make it as a musician, I must stress to you, that you must know your instrument. Practice your instrument and get good at it, a band only makes it if they’re good. Be a good person with a good personality, it’s hard to be in a band with someone they can’t get along with.

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Don’t quit. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Put Him first and all will be added to you.

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Be patient, everything in this industry takes time. What makes you/your band stand out from the rest(musical identity)? Find that, and embrace it. If you’re in it for the money, stop now. God will bless you if you’re faithful, and you work hard, but you need to be ready to eat at gas stations and sleep on van floors for a while….sometimes a long while. It’s all about awareness, get your band/music in front of people. God will do the impossible if you do the possible.

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Just make music out of love for it. Music totally sucks when you get into the whole rat-race. I’m constantly fighting that. Just dig your head into the notes and love every part of it.

*NOTE: this is the last of our Voices Of The Underground series. Thanks to all of the artists that participated, its been really great getting to know you guys better. Thanks to everybody who has been reading VOTU since we started it almost 8 months ago! For now, this is going to be the end of the series, we feel it is time to move on and do some some new stuff. Thanks again….

Christian Music Artist Tops Paste’s Best of Decade List

Paste magazine just released their list of 50 greatest albums of the decade on their website. Five recordings made by Christian music artists made the list.

We were excited that iconic indie artist Sufjan Stevens was number one on the list with Come On Feel the Illinoise (notice Paste did not get the name correct)  and alternative rock’s darling Pedro The Lion made the list with Control.  The rock cred of Jack White garnered the attention of Paste writers so that country legend Loretta Lynn made the list with Van Lear Rose.  The best movie soundtrack of the decade ‘O Brother Where Are Thou? made the list but why do we include it here?  Well, the soundtrack was the brainchild of Christian music artist and famed producer T Bone Burnett.

Finally, we were shocked and thrilled that one of our favorite cds of the decade, Over The Rhine‘s Ohio made the list. We did not think anyone had noticed the greatness of this folk, rock, jazz, pop masterpiece.

Of course we think the list excluded these masterpieces:

But worry not we are working on our list of essential recordings by Christian Music Artists.

In the meantime, here is what Paste had to say about these great records.

1. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois [Asthmatic Kitty] (2005) Amazon

Sufjan Stevens IllinoiseIn 2005, when Sufjan Stevens released Illinois, the second album in his planned 50-state project, American pride was at a record low—especially among young people. The death toll in Iraq was steadily climbing, and Abu Ghraib was fresh on our minds. Meanwhile, Stevens was beginning to seem brilliant enough to fulfill his ambitious plan. His music pushed boundaries between pop and classical, and the emotional weight of his lyrics grounded his feather-light voice. There was a distinct peculiarity about Illinois and Stevens himself, who gave his songs titles like “To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament.” Critics embraced the mystery and declared the album a masterpiece. Stevens and his band, The Illinoisemakers, wore cheerleading costumes onstage to promote the record, and once its success took them to larger venues, Stevens switched to giant, colorful bird wings. His band was a spectacle, their performances magical. Thousands of fans gathered in theaters across the country to behold this winged creature and rally behind his songs about America’s heartland. It was a new, weird kind of patriotism.

26. Over the Rhine: Ohio (2004) Amazon

Over The Rhine OhioIn the liner notes accompanying Over the Rhine’s gloriously self-indulgent double-disc, Ohio, co-founder Linford Detweiler, writes, “We grew up in small coal mining towns in the Ohio Valley, listening to music that could have only been unearthed in America: Southern Gospel, Country Western and Rock ’n’ Roll. This music fertilized the soil of our early lives. We sit down at the upright piano these days with dirt under our fingernails.” And I suppose that’s what I love about this album. The songs feel gritty and real, unpolished and perfect. Just like people. All the artifice (both musical and emotional) has been carefully dismantled, traditional instruments—upright piano, pedal steel, acoustic guitars—have been dusted off, arrangements have been simplified, windows into souls have been propped open a bit wider. In stark contrast, Karin Bergquist’s voice has never felt as undressed and painfully honest as it does in these songs, as if she’s opened her gut and tugged the melodies out like a breach baby. This process is partly masochistic, partly exhibitionist, entirely self-consuming: but such is true art. Ohio, is more than simply a dense, rich, vulnerable collection of songs; it’s a dirt road companion on that difficult journey inward, upward. Homeward. Jason Killingsworth

34. Various artists: O Brother Where Art Thou? [Mercury] (2001) Amazon

T Bone Burnett O'Brother Where Art ThouThis old-timey country album and most unlikely hit may have signaled the last gasp of alternative country. On the bright side, it suggested that those alt-country values (rough-hewn vocals, acoustic instrumentation, a palpable connection to American roots music) had busted out of the sub-genre ghetto and crossed over into the mainstream. After all, the album did win the Grammy for Album of the Year. Some of our favorite female vocalists—one-named artists like Emmylou and Gillian—got much-deserved exposure thanks to this collection, which scored a freewheeling Coen Bros movie and did nothing but good for all concerned. Nick Marino

36. Pedro The Lion: Control [Jade Tree] (2002) Control

Pedro The Lion Control

David Bazan’s Seattle indie rock is well played, and his voice is perfectly restrained, but his most unique gift lies in storytelling—vivid images and a thoughtful perspective create a deep, dark feeling of sadness. In-depth descriptions of extramarital affairs appear throughout Control, a characteristically bold move for the former Christian singer/songwriter. The music is heavier, too—this time around, electric guitars dare to match the lyrical intensity. Kate Kiefer

48. Loretta Lynn: Van Lear Rose [Interscope] (2004) Amazon
Loretta Lynn Van Lear RoseIn 2004, 69-year-old Loretta Lynn released her thirty-seventh solo studio album. It could have been a sad affair, the desperate yawp of a legendary Nashville madam teetering into an aged cliché of herself, but with the help of rock ‘n’ roll upstart Jack White, Lynn made the greatest record of her career. Like a bunch of rowdy grandkids, White and a crew of friends (most of whom would converge a year later as The Raconteurs) lent a sly, gritty feel to Lynn’s 13 mostly-autobiographical tracks—Van Lear Rose was her 70th release overall, but it was only the second time she’d written or co-written all of her songs. Her seasoned, tremulous voice paired perfectly with White’s electric guitar warble, pulling off mournful country crooners and all-out rock numbers with equal grit and spunk. She hasn’t released anything since, but it almost doesn’t matter. Rachael Maddux

Voices Of The Underground2 Pt.14

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Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?
Read Pt.11-What are your opinions on the modern music industry?
Read Pt.12-Is it easier or harder to be a musician today in contrast to maybe 10 years ago?
Read Pt.13-What is the one thing that people don’t understand about YOUR music?

What responsibility (if any) does an artist/performer have to it’s listener?

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Being honest and doing his/her best.

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The choice is ultimately up to the artist to care about this or not, but I’d say the minute you decided to play music for a living, you decided to be a role model, whether you like it or not. And you can have a positive or negative effect..it’s up to you.

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I believe we as artists are accountable for everything we write, record, perform, and speak. We are supposed to be examples of who or what we serve. I know I will fall short but i pray as this journey continues that I can represent Christ to all who i come across.

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In our line of work, we must stay on path. If we label ourselves a Christian band and try to set an example for the kids that come to see us, and we are caught doing something bad, such as doing drugs or fighting, we failed as a Christian example. I feel we must stay in line for the ministry’s sake and that we must play good music.

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It depends on the artist. As for my band we feel our responsibility is to love our listener and be with them as much as possible whether its prayer or just conversations about anything they want to talk about. It means the world to us that people take the time to listen or watch us or whatever.

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Well I think that the responsibility is to care about your fans. To try to write music that speaks to the people who listen to your band, to care about making relationships with those who relate to your music, and to always try to give your shows 100 percent so everyone who pays to see you has a good time. Our favorite part about being a band is making friends all over the county. We have met some of the most amazing people in the last year of touring, and its been nothing but amazing.

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I guess the only thing I can think of is one particular scenario. If you’re performing for someone who has paid money to see you perform, at least make an effort to perform to the best of your ability. I mean, they paid money, you know?

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The artist should be responsible to explain what the message of their music is I think… Even if there is no direct message. I think often an artist can write songs about things that are not necessarily the message they really want to communicate. I think that artists should be willing to explain to their listeners what they are really trying to communicate through their music.

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None. Their responsibility is to the Lord. Fans are fickle. They will abandon you over a bad interview (which will probably happen to be after this one), or if you don’t scream enough on your new album or something. It’s crazy. Follow God, not people. They are fans, not idols.

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When you are musician people look to you, whether you like it or not and they listen to what you have to say whether its worth listening to or not. As for me, in the past I have struggled with the weight of responsibility that is placed on me as a Christian, who is also a musician. How do you minister to everyone? How do you always be the best example? You can go mental trying to find the right formula. But the Lord revealed to me that you simply have to listen, be sensitive to His spirit, and just be real. This is my responsibility.

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To put out heartfelt music, even if it’s different from the last record, or takes a totally different direction. Artists responsibilities are to stay true to what they love.

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We do what we do to glorify God. To raise him up and spread his message of love and hope. As long as we are open and honest about this, I don’t feel like our “listeners” would demand anything from us other than the Truth.

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The answer to that really depends on why you’re creating music. For us, we hope to share a message of love, understanding, compassion, justice, etc. and I see it as our responsibility to do so, both for those hearing us and those they can act in these ways towards.

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An artist should make things that they like, that they think are good. That seems to be the most generous thing they can do for their audience.

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Man that’s a tough question. When artists start creating art to please an audience, I really think the art suffers. Sure it may sell well and make the kids dance at the shows, and if that’s your thing then go for it, but if the goal is to create art, then it will suffer if you start trying to please everyone else. I think more that artists have a responsibility to society to effectively translate the human condition and social issues into art that speaks to people, even if just themselves. The ability to create and recognize art is what separates us from all other forms of life on this planet, and I think it is crucial to us as a people and society to endear.

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For every artist there is a different answer. I can only speak for myself: I have a huge responsibility. I have been called to live my life to the glory of God, and that standard applies to my music.

Voices Of The Underground2 Pt.13

votu2logo-copy2

Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?
Read Pt.11-What are your opinions on the modern music industry?
Read Pt.12-Is it easier or harder to be a musician today in contrast to maybe 10 years ago?

What is the one thing that people don’t understand about YOUR music?

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Oh man. Well there are a lot of things that frustrate me, but I try to focus just on making music and not pleasing anyone’s conception’s of who we are. It does get frustrating sometimes because since we don’t play breakdowns, I feel we get lumped into the “screamo” scene, which I guess might be slightly warranted but I really feel like we offer more than just a “screamo” band. Maybe that will translate better on our next record. But overall I really feel that most of the people that listen to us see what we are doing and what it means, and that’s really all I could ask for.

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Once in a while people call Meredith (edt. the keyboard player, other main vocalist in Bodies Of Water. She is also David’s wife) my sister, but she isn’t my sister. It is an easy mistake to make, we look related.

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Since we function as a band almost entirely outside the “Christian music bubble”, I would have to say our biggest challenge is preventing people from assuming we’re hate-filled, judgmental, etc. simply because we are Christians. Essentially, we shoulder the burden of disproving all the stereotypes associated with American Christianity that fall short of being Biblically sound.

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Too many people judge the book by the cover. They see our picture and instantly say no. They are not willing to give us or our music a chance.

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That we are a “Christian” band as in “Our target audience is Christians.” I would never want anyone to think that we are solely aiming for Christians. I just want people to listen to our music and make up their own minds.

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People never know where to put us. Music has so many genre’s now but we don’t really fit into one, which I’m okay with. We aren’t screamo, and we aren’t metal. We say we are punk rock, fun times, but that doesn’t always go over well.

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People think that worship music is supposed to be serious and ambient. Mine is happy and clappy and folky and fun. I always play shows with other worship bands and it is always so serious. Sometimes it feels like my worship music doesn’t fit in… which is a shame because very little of the worship in the scriptures was sad and serious. It was often crazy… David danced naked in the streets, remember that?
People rely heavily on what I call the “holy spirit pedal”. The second it fades in, everyone’s hands gone into the air and their eyes all close and they start to sway. Once in a while they should smile and make eye contact with each other, nod their heads and clap. Sing loudly and obnoxiously. Make a joyful noise.

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We often run into the question or confusion as to whether or not we are gonna actually lead a worship time – or play a show. We always want to make it clear that our intention is to always lead people into a time of worship. We are not really interested in playing a “show”. For most people, when they listen to our music at length they will easily discover the heart behind it – which is straight up worship. But, from time to time we still find ourselves at gigs where we are expected to “perform” a show to some degree…

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I don’t think I’ve come across anyone who didn’t “understand” our music. A lot of people don’t LIKE our music. But it’s music, not everyone is going to like the same stuff. No big deal.


I think the biggest mis-conception about our music is that kids always think we are a straight edge band. Many of our members are part of the straight edge community, however Venia does not write music about the straight edge lifestlye. We have a lot of kids thinking that is one of the main themes of our music, but that isnt the case, even though many of us are involved in that lifestyle.

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I think its usually the screaming people don’t get how that can be “Christian” or it’s just not easy on people’s ears.

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Towards this band, people misconstrue the fact that we are a Christian band. As I mentioned, we attempt to reach out to the rest of the world and they might understand our message so they just take it as we are just another metal band.

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People judge off the appearance. They see the tattoos and piercings and dont expect me to be an emcee. Sorry Im not in a tall t. haha.

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That we’re just a hard rock band…our records cover a lot of different ground musically, and I hope you can embrace that and see it translate live.

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I hate the whole rock-star thing. Mostly, the expectation people have for you to be that. I hate trying to be cool! It pains me to see some bands buying into the cool factor and fans eating it up. I really wish people just liked music because they connected to it on a personal level. Not because its some coolness factor popularity contest. If that’s what this is, I definitely loose.

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The biggest misconception is that we are not only here for the people in the church. We make music for both Christian and non-Christians, but God has called us do go into the battlefield (which is outside of the safety of church walls) and reach the people who wont step foot into a church.

Voices Of The Underground2 Pt.12

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Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?
Read Pt.11-What are your opinions on the modern music industry?

Is it easier or harder to be a musician today in contrast to maybe 10 years ago?

the-glorious-unseen-copy
I wasn’t really a pro musician 10 years ago so I’m not sure what it is like – but I do know that from a management standpoint – I think it is easier. We are able to completely self-manage and self-book ourselves, even while being on the road. We are able to have direct connection to our fans. The internet has revolutionized how quickly and efficiently we are able to do things as a touring band. No need to have a booking agency on the other side of the country setting up shows for us. Anyone can email us at any time, and we will get it instantly – even while traveling. So, I do think all these technological advances have made it easier to be a professional touring musician.

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Both. It’s easier in that music is way more accessible now. Like I said, with myspace and facebook it’s really easy to get your name out there. But at the same time, with those outlets come more and more bands becoming popular. There are SO many bands out there now. It seems like you have to be especially good and original in order to even be noticed on a larger scale. But in the end, as long as you’re making music you enjoy, then you shouldn’t worry about all the other stuff.

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Anyone and everyone can record an album on their computer and have it around the world in a matter of days. This is something that musicians used to dream of, and it is far more important than money.
It is a good time to be a musician.

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I am not sure since I was not a musician 10 years ago, but I think it is more difficult now days. High gas prices, less record sales, and a struggling economy really makes it harder to stay on the road. It seems harder to book shows now as well, since the gas prices are higher, the bands guarantees every night has to be higher, because of this, the door prices are higher. Since the door charge is higher for the kids to come out, there are less merch sales to help the bands get by.

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I would have to say that it is way easier now to be a musician. There are way more bands to compete with but it is way easier to get your foot in the door. Every band has a free website,myspace, that can promote their band all over the world. Its easier to get a decent recording of your music with digital recording and the availability of it on personal computers, and its easier to tour; more venues, GPS, cell phones (not pay phone and pagers), and 24 hr restaurants.

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I’m not too sure, we’re definitely in the DIY generation where we can book our own shows put out our own music and tour without losing too much money. At the same time there’s so much competition when we book a tour we usually notice a few other tours going the same route as us.

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Depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Stardom? Then i would say yes, because there are so many bands out there trying to do the same thing. Making Art? then I would say it’s just the same as 10 years ago. Art is art if people like it, they like it. If they don’t, then they don’t.

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I would say a little harder, even though I was not a professional musician 10 years ago, I imagine it being a little easier. With the simplification of digital music presently it is easier to compose music such as pop or hip hop, it makes it easier for the rest of the world to compose music as well. So there is a huge group of musicians trying to make it now and there is so much variety for people to choose from. Plus, it is hard for one to be original and come up with something fresh that people haven’t heard and want to hear. 10 years ago, the economy wasn’t in such a recession as now, and it was simpler for people to go see live music… but I could be wrong, I wasn’t making music 10 years ago.

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We have no clue! 10 years ago, I was on drugs working in a factory and Veronica was finishing her last year of college, lol. I guess the internet has helped many bands gain instant success, however–from what we hear, several venues have shut down over the years and others have scaled their shows back to just a few a month, so it’s a give and take. We are just thankful that we get to tour with cell phones and a GPS!!!!

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Harder to sell records now because: the market is over saturated with bands, we’re in a recession, and people are stealing music at an all time high. Labels are signing less bands now, BUT with the technology we have, artists who can barely sing/play are getting signed, and that would have never happened before. Bands have it a lot easier now as far as spreading the word/building their buzz, before the internet, we used to have to mail everything out by hand and make calls.

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I would say it’s incredibly easier to be a musician today. You can let people around the world hear your music for a fraction of the cost it would have taken 10 years ago, if you could have even accomplished the same.

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Times change. There might of been less people doing it then, but less technology to get your name out back then too. So I believe it just balances itself out.

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I don’t know. My impression is that neither era is an ‘easy’ or ‘hard’ one to work in – they just have different sets of problems.

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In most ways yes. Financially, it’s a lot harder. But for indie artists, it’s a lot easier. You don’t have to be on a label now to make it.

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I don’t know. Ten years ago, the music industry had just received the warning bell that the golden age of actually making money in music was nearing the end. Whole record labels would survive off of one hit record. That was great for all the little bands who deserved to be out there but weren’t selling enough.
What’s great about this new era is that bands have to be creative in getting their music out there. The pool spilled into an ocean, and that’s the hard part. There is SO MUCH MUSIC out there.

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I don’t think there’s a difference because it’s always been hard. Its always hard to find the perfect label and management who will support you and back you.

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Well without the internet, we wouldn’t have been able to book our first tours, make fans over myspace, be noticed by a genre label like we did, or any of that. Without technology we wouldn’t have been able to record our 2 albums by ourselves and press them for relatively cheap. So its much much easier. But, because its easier, there are tons more bands than there ever used to be, or at least tons more bands that are trying to make it. Which, basically creates a whole different set of problems!

Voices Of The Underground2 Pt.11

votu2logo-copy2

Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?

What are your feelings on the modern day music industry?

a-hope-for-home-votu2-copy1
Man, I don’t even know. It kind of sucks to see the effective death of the album with Itunes and file sharing websites, but I would be a hypocrite if I said I haven’t downloaded a lot of music myself. Heck, I’ve found tons of bands I never would have known existed had it not been for downloading music. Overall I think its been a good way for the industry to grow. Take the power out of the rich label owners who have screwed bands over for years and give bands marketing and promotion power themselves to in effect level the playing field a bit. But there is still a lot of uncertainty to a newly designed market and I think noone has yet to find the next successful model for selling music.

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There’s pros and cons. Its easier to get your name out there but its easier for people to steal music. So it’s a little give and take.

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Love it. Or leave it. It is what it is. And it’s all we have. I’m awful at keeping up with it all.
My next record is a book/CD combo. I hope that people by the hard copy, because I’d love for them to read the book.

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That nobody knows what the heck is going on, how to make it as musician now, and where it is going. I try not to think about it too much and to do my best making the best music I can. Recently, I’m self producing my albums which has been a nice freedom so that I’m not dependent on the industry to make it happen. I’m free to make music regardless of the level of sales and success.

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It seems easier to get music in front of people, but harder to earn money doing it. I’ve heard that that middle class of musicians is disappearing.

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Some people like it, some dont. Me- I dont care. As long as people can get their hands on my music, Im ok with it.

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It’s definitely different from what it was when I first started being involved in music, both as an appreciator and creator. That said, I think it’s helping to filter out those who truly care from those who don’t… if you care, you’re excited about the new ways to spread your music and willing to adapt.

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I think we’re in a time of growth. Like we’ve seen in the past with 8 tracks, cassette tapes and CD’s, we have to adapt to our surroundings. It’s causing a lot of commotion because they can’t stop people from stealing music, and it’s effected everyone considerably…but it’s change…and no one likes change. It has it’s pro’s and cons, I’m excited to see what’s next.

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Myspace and Youtube have been great tools for us and our ministry. We are not your standard band so because of the internet, we have been able to share our message worldwide.

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I really am happy with the music market today. I believe the way the way music is sold today is very innovative and sold simple. I am always accompanied by my iPod or Macbook so having digital copies of everything is perfect for me.

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For bands like us we might lose a little bit of income from it. That doesn’t really bother me because we are growing and the more outlets we have to promote our music the better for us. It really doesn’t bother me too much.

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I have mixed feelings, Myspace is an excellent promotional and communication tool but at the same time its lame any band can go record get a friend adder and a play enhancer and get signed, it takes a lot of the work ethic out. I think that’s why you see a lot of bands break up or have frequent member changes when they get signed then just start extensive touring. As far as Digital MP3 stores I think it helps unsigned bands like us get our music out there when we don’t have the money to press CD’s however, unless Digital is the only option I’d take a record or CD any day, I enjoy the art and all that cool stuff.

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The music industry is scary too. As a band we feel like the crazy fish at the lake that pile on top of each other in attempt to snag one measly piece of dog food. There are so many bands, and know one buys music anymore. Its all about who you know and who they know, and Then they tell us what music to like no matter how bad it is. haha. Thankfully despite their best efforts there are still a lot of bands making good music. All that being said, if you like our music, and can’t afford to buy it, go download it, then come to the show, and we can hangout.


I think that Myspace, blogspots, MP3s, torrents have changed the music industry drastically. It seems to be much harder to sell albums now days than it was before. We have encountered this numerous times, where kids have downloaded our album offline and don’t want to purchase it. However, it also has its positives. It is much easier to promote your band via Myspace than it used to be. I think the digital world has a good and bad side to the industry.

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I think the playing field is leveled, and it has become nearly impossible for musicians to make money… which is good. You see, when musicians aren’t making exorbitant amounts of money, they maintain musical integrity. They make music because they love it, not because it will sell.

yours-for-mine-copy
Well, I don’t really know much about “the industry”. What I’ve observed is that it’s a good and a bad thing for bands/artists. The internet has helped bands out a ton. The whole Myspace/Facebook thing has made it really helpful for bands to promote themselves and their music. But as far as the digital music wave of the industry, it tends to hurt bands as well. It seems to be getting harder and harder for bands to sustain themselves. But again, I don’t really have much experience with all of this.

the-glorious-unseen-copy
This is all a natural progression. Obtaining music adjusts with whatever is happening in current technology. There is becoming less and less reason to go into a physical store to try to get music. I don’t think I’ve gone into a physical store and bought a CD for over a year at least. I download whatever I want from ITUNES usually… Online marketing is often cheaper for labels, and easier for the consumer to see… So, it is a natural progression. The labels, bands, and managers that really WIN in the music industry in the coming years will be the ones that learn to use the online stuff most effectively.